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My good friend and fellow Rotarian, Carol Acosta, asked me to help with a meeting so that the people in a local Hmong village called Rak Phan Din could explore the possibilities of organic gardening.  Sure.  Why not?  We had no clear idea about their real agenda, but we sorted that out during the first meeting when 35 villagers showed up at their community center. Fortunately, we had Jeng with us.  Jeng is a third-year university student from Rak Phan Din (very rare for this village) and had previously lived with Carol for several years.  With her fine English skills...[ Read More ]
Today we visited Lahu village of San Leung, about 40 miles south of Lashio, Myanmar.  There we met with the Village Leader (a nice fellow called U-Tone-See) his village committee, and many of the villagers.   San Leung has 31 households with 15 kids in the 3 to 5 age range.  They have a pre-school for them but only for two partial days per week.  They do have a primary school for grades 1 to 5, but that is all the education available without significant travel. We really admired the ingenuity and energy these people have shown as they work to...[ Read More ]
Download our new infographic and discover facts about the nutritional and health crisis that children in SE Asia face every day.  [ Read More ]
This evening we met with the Hpa-an Education Foundation, including the current Chairman, a dedicated man called U Khin Shein.  This is a group of 300 local citizens dedicated to filling the gap between what the government provides in the way of education and what is really needed. Each of the members contributes monthly to the Foundation.  And, the leadership group of 30 contributes quite substantially.  100% of their annual budget of more than $12,000 goes directly to the 28 individual schools they supported last year with uniforms, stationery and supplies, furniture, benches, whiteboards, teaching aids, and related materials. We...[ Read More ]
As a long-time advocate for educating girls, it is gratifying to visit the various Monk and Nun schools to see first-hand their fine work being done in this regard.  Up until this recent trip to Myanmar I have heard very little about this issue of “keeping the girls safe”.  I heard a lot about it during this trip.  As I learn more about this concern it becomes apparent that the various armies (national and ethnic) roaming around in this area – sometimes fighting; sometimes not – have a shown a pattern of “marrying” girls when, in fact, the girls have...[ Read More ]